Bank Holiday weekend. 25th and 26th of May saw me out walking, and working hard at my training again. On the Saturday I revisited the Malverns. I was very impressed on my first visit and could not resist going again. My route this time was shorter than the first time, as I parked in British Camp car park. However I still climbed Black Hill,Jubilee Hill,Perseverance Hill, then on to Summer Hill and Worcestershire Beacon, and then retraced my route to my car. It was a beautiful day sunny, and dry. As I started early, it only started to get really hot as I was finishing. It struck me that I found the climbs a little easier than my first visit. I kept looking at the peak of the hill ahead of me, keeping my head up and powering up the hills with the help of my walking poles. The larger hills I walked more slowly but tried to keep a good rhythm. I was very pleased that I did not stop once on my way up any of the hills. I paused at the foot of each one, and at the top.
It was a very good walk, and it was very useful in working my legs on big hills again.
The following day I decided to go and try the newly opened North Dorset Trailway. It follows the old railway line from Blandford Forum to Sturminster Newton. I have to say it was excellent. A very good job has been done paving the route and putting up good signs. Its almost completely enclosed and away from the roads apart from having to cross one or two very small lanes. I made my mind up that I was going to walk all the way to Sturminster Newton and back to Blandford. At 9 miles each way it was going to be one of my longer walks. I set off mid afternoon, it was quite busy with other walkers, cyclists, and runners. The terrain was, very good. The first 3 miles to Stourpaine were paved, I then walked through the village onto the next part where I found more well surfaced paths. I ended up on the platform of Shillingstone station. There is a fantastic restoration project going on there. The station looks very impressive and appeared busy with visitors/ I walked by carrying on to Sturminster Newton. Once I reached the car park there I turned around and retraced my route to Blandford.
I spotted Hambledon Hill off of the track rising above the countryside, that is an old Hill fort. I think I will be paying that a visit in the not too distant future. But it wouldn't be today.
Throughout I kept a good pace, perhaps a little fast. I worked out I was walking at about 3 miles per hour. I could really feel that in my legs about 4 miles from Blandford. But I pressed on and reached my car around 7.30pm
I am now getting more confident with my fitness and my ability to do long walks on consecutive days. I really feel like I am pushing on with my training and getting more and more prepared for the challenge of a lifetime which seems to be approaching very quickly now. The days and weeks just seem to be flying by. In addition to my training I am still working my way through my kit list. I now have all the clothing I need. All I really need now is a few more bits and pieces. Once I have everything I will list what I am taking with me.